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A Bride of Convenience

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Unemployed mill worker Zoe Hart jumps at the opportunity to emigrate to British Columbia in 1863 to find a better life and be reunited with her brother, who fled from home after being accused of a crime. Pastor to miners in the mountains, Abe Merivale discovers an abandoned baby during a routine visit to Victoria and joins efforts with Zoe, one of the newly arrived bride-s Unemployed mill worker Zoe Hart jumps at the opportunity to emigrate to British Columbia in 1863 to find a better life and be reunited with her brother, who fled from home after being accused of a crime. Pastor to miners in the mountains, Abe Merivale discovers an abandoned baby during a routine visit to Victoria and joins efforts with Zoe, one of the newly arrived bride-ship women, to care for the infant. While there, he's devastated by the news from his fiancee in England that she's marrying another man. With mounting pressure to find the baby a home, Zoe accepts a proposal from a miner of questionable character after he promises to help her locate her brother. Intent on protecting Zoe and frustrated by his failed engagement, Abe offers his own hand as groom. After a hasty wedding, they soon realize their marriage of convenience is not so convenient after all.


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Unemployed mill worker Zoe Hart jumps at the opportunity to emigrate to British Columbia in 1863 to find a better life and be reunited with her brother, who fled from home after being accused of a crime. Pastor to miners in the mountains, Abe Merivale discovers an abandoned baby during a routine visit to Victoria and joins efforts with Zoe, one of the newly arrived bride-s Unemployed mill worker Zoe Hart jumps at the opportunity to emigrate to British Columbia in 1863 to find a better life and be reunited with her brother, who fled from home after being accused of a crime. Pastor to miners in the mountains, Abe Merivale discovers an abandoned baby during a routine visit to Victoria and joins efforts with Zoe, one of the newly arrived bride-ship women, to care for the infant. While there, he's devastated by the news from his fiancee in England that she's marrying another man. With mounting pressure to find the baby a home, Zoe accepts a proposal from a miner of questionable character after he promises to help her locate her brother. Intent on protecting Zoe and frustrated by his failed engagement, Abe offers his own hand as groom. After a hasty wedding, they soon realize their marriage of convenience is not so convenient after all.

30 review for A Bride of Convenience

  1. 4 out of 5

    Randi Annie Framnes

    When unemployed cotton mill worker Zoe Hart arrives from Manchester, she suddenly finds herself in the care of an infant girl. Without means of support, she enters into a marriage of convenience to local minister Abraham, Pastor Abe, Merivale, who offers them protection. They are determined to live by the convenience arrangement but are surprised how dissatisfied they both are with that part of their relationship. A Bride of Convenience is book number 3 in Jody Hedlund’s 4 book series The Bride S When unemployed cotton mill worker Zoe Hart arrives from Manchester, she suddenly finds herself in the care of an infant girl. Without means of support, she enters into a marriage of convenience to local minister Abraham, Pastor Abe, Merivale, who offers them protection. They are determined to live by the convenience arrangement but are surprised how dissatisfied they both are with that part of their relationship. A Bride of Convenience is book number 3 in Jody Hedlund’s 4 book series The Bride Ships, published by Bethany House Publishers. The setting is Vancouver Island and Yale 1863, and we get to follow unemployed cotton mill worker Zoe Hart when she just off the boat meets local minister Abraham, Pastor Abe, Merivale. She suddenly finds herself in the care of an infant and in a marriage of convenience to Abe, who promises to keep Zoe and the baby safe from looming danger. Main character Zoe Hart is a warm hearted and assertive young woman who is escaping, family drug addiction and bullying to start a new life in the colonies. She struggles with self doubt but has a full set of admirable qualities I wish she would see as clearly as Abe does. Secondary character Abraham Merivale is on a 5 year, unpaid, mission in British Columbia to build churches. He aspires to become bishop, but is more and more in conflict with the decisions to stay on his career track. I feel for him as his life seems so confined within the rules of English society. A Bride of Convenience includes several dramatic elements so expertly written my neck hairs rose, including well crafted and dangerous villain character Dexter Dawson out to get Zoe. The thorough research shines through in the vivid descriptions of people’s lifestyles, interactions and clothing as well as the characters themselves. The romance between Zoe and Abe took some time to develop as they both tried to live by the convenience deal. But close moments seemed to appear between them more and more helped by walks in the northern lights and the visit to a local hot spring. This was my favorite parts of the story I felt were particularly well written. A spiritual element was running through the book as the characters continuously prayed for support while trying to deal with tough times. A Bride of Convenience included all my favorites: Exiting plot including romance and drama set in spectacular, exotic environments. I couldn’t ask for more. A Bride of Convenience is the second work I have read by Jody Hedlund. While I would have preferred to read The Bride Ship Series in order, reading A Bride of Convenience as a standalone worked perfectly. Just enough hints from the previous installment were given to help me pick up the essentials. Fans of Jody Hedlund will absolutely love this work, as will readers of historical romance fiction. Similar author to explore might be Laura Frantz and Karen Witemeyer. Thank you to Bethany House Publishers and NetGalley for this eARC, which gave me the opportunity to share my honest review. All opinions are completely my own. My review: 5 stars / 5 Main reasons: Exiting plot, excellent writing, great romance,

  2. 4 out of 5

    Heidi Robbins (Heidi Reads...)

    I’m always up for a good marriage of convenience story, and this one was excellent! Zoe has such a compassionate heart and I loved her desire and willingness to care for orphaned children. Abe has a plan and is doing his best to stick to it, even when he struggles with the bishop’s formality and demands for how he interacts with the community. Even though the beginning of their relationship is a bit rocky with doubts and hesitation, they are both sincere and genuine, and recognize the goodness i I’m always up for a good marriage of convenience story, and this one was excellent! Zoe has such a compassionate heart and I loved her desire and willingness to care for orphaned children. Abe has a plan and is doing his best to stick to it, even when he struggles with the bishop’s formality and demands for how he interacts with the community. Even though the beginning of their relationship is a bit rocky with doubts and hesitation, they are both sincere and genuine, and recognize the goodness in each other. It was fun to see their growing attraction and the blossoming of deeper feelings of romance. Their future is uncertain and a variety of obstacles challenge them and their little family that quickly grows as Zoe brings more chicks under her wing. I loved how their vulnerabilities contrasted with their strengths and the way God led them to each other and others who needed them. (I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions expressed in this review are my own)

  3. 5 out of 5

    Deanne Patterson

    One thing that's always consistent with Jody's books are how impeccably researched they are. No matter what the topic is of the series she knows her stuff and presents her research findings in an easy to read yet fun format. I love how much I am able to learn about the historical time period from her books, interesting facts I may not have encountered otherwise if I hadn't read her books. I do believe if you've read historical fiction you've probably read about mail order brides , this book is abo One thing that's always consistent with Jody's books are how impeccably researched they are. No matter what the topic is of the series she knows her stuff and presents her research findings in an easy to read yet fun format. I love how much I am able to learn about the historical time period from her books, interesting facts I may not have encountered otherwise if I hadn't read her books. I do believe if you've read historical fiction you've probably read about mail order brides , this book is about brides coming on a bride ship to get married. Can you just imagine a ship full of ladies looking to get married hoping for a faithful,caring,God fearing man? That would definitely be a sight to see. You can just imagine the emotions these ladies were going through. Now the lady the story focuses on is Zoe Hart, an unemployed mill worker accused of a crime looking for a better life and to be reunited with her brother so she emigrates to British Columbia in 1863. Humble, unassuming preacher to the miners Abe Merivale is frustrated with his failed engagement and is understandably devastated by the news his fiancee in England is marrying another. The author will keep you turning pages quickly to see how things are progressing with our main characters and the precious baby that brought them together . I very much enjoy reading the faith message in all of Jody's books . The last book in the Bride Ships series releases in August and I'm eagerly anticipating it! Pub Date 30 Jun 2020 by Bethany House Publishers. I was given a complimentary copy of this book. Thank you. All opinions expressed are my own.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Paula Shreckhise

    In this third book of The Bride Ships series, we revisit Vancouver, British Columbia and a few of the characters from the previous books. This is the story of Pastor Abe Merivale. Zoe Hart has nothing left to keep her in England so she boards a Bride Ship to British Columbia in search of her twin, Zeke, who is in the gold fields there. With so many men clamoring for a bride, Zoe can hardly choose. But she becomes desperate and almost marries an evil man. Pastor Abe steps in and offers a marriage In this third book of The Bride Ships series, we revisit Vancouver, British Columbia and a few of the characters from the previous books. This is the story of Pastor Abe Merivale. Zoe Hart has nothing left to keep her in England so she boards a Bride Ship to British Columbia in search of her twin, Zeke, who is in the gold fields there. With so many men clamoring for a bride, Zoe can hardly choose. But she becomes desperate and almost marries an evil man. Pastor Abe steps in and offers a marriage of convenience. Together they have charge of a mixed race baby girl. Zoe has a real heart for orphaned children and Pastor Abe considers them a part of his ministry. He has established connections with the people in remote areas and has plans to build a Church in Yale. There are many obstacles for Zoe and Abe, from the weather to an unsympathetic Bishop to the man who says Abe stole Zoe from him. Ms. Hedlund fleshes out her characters and gives them interesting backgrounds that all fit together in a story of faith and hardship, falling in love and learning to rely on God. Zoe: “If God gives us our ministry, then no one else has the power to take it away. Not even the bishop.” As always, Jody Hedlund takes historical facts and weaves a plausible, inspiring and entertaining story. This is one of her finest. *I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House on behalf of the author. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*

  5. 4 out of 5

    Staci

    So fascinating that women would travel from London to Victoria (then a part of England) to escape life in England for a new start as a bride in an unknown land. I love how the author uses factual events to shape the novels in this series. In A Bride of Convenience, all the brides traveling aboard the ship Robert Lowe are lower class and worked in a mill under less than ideal conditions. Many were near starving, which helps readers understand the why behind their voyage. Mill worker Zoe Hart leave So fascinating that women would travel from London to Victoria (then a part of England) to escape life in England for a new start as a bride in an unknown land. I love how the author uses factual events to shape the novels in this series. In A Bride of Convenience, all the brides traveling aboard the ship Robert Lowe are lower class and worked in a mill under less than ideal conditions. Many were near starving, which helps readers understand the why behind their voyage. Mill worker Zoe Hart leaves behind an alcoholic father and drug addicted sister in hopes to find her twin brother Zeke and a better life in Victoria. I loved her kind heart for all people. Abe Merivale is a minister for the Church of England and aspires to be a bishop. He's engaged to Lizzy that continues to live in England. In their story, they find that sometimes God has a different plan and a better one than our own. My gratitude to publisher Bethany House for a complimentary copy of the novel. I was not required to post a review and all opinions expressed are my own.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Bonnie DeMoss

    A Bride of Convenience, set in 1863, is the third book in the Bride Ships series. Zoe Hart is one of many unemployed mill workers on the Robert Lowe, a “bride ship” which carried single women to Vancouver Island to be married to the available men there. Zoe is also in search of her brother Zeke, who fled to Vancouver Island after he was accused of a crime. Upon arrival, Zoe encounters Abe, a pastor who has discovered an abandoned child. Taken with the child immediately, Zoe is determined to be m A Bride of Convenience, set in 1863, is the third book in the Bride Ships series. Zoe Hart is one of many unemployed mill workers on the Robert Lowe, a “bride ship” which carried single women to Vancouver Island to be married to the available men there. Zoe is also in search of her brother Zeke, who fled to Vancouver Island after he was accused of a crime. Upon arrival, Zoe encounters Abe, a pastor who has discovered an abandoned child. Taken with the child immediately, Zoe is determined to be married quickly to anyone who will take her and the baby. When Zoe is about to marry an evil man, Abe, recently jilted, steps in and marries her himself. There are many ups and downs in this journey, as Abe and Zoe realize the impact of marrying a stranger. As they try to get to know each other, obstacles arise from misunderstandings, evil people, and even the Church. Through it all, Jody Hedlund pens a message of faith, forgiveness, and the true meaning of family. For fans of Christian romance and anyone who would like to learn more about the “bride ships.”

  7. 5 out of 5

    Brittany

    The latest release in The Bride Ships series, A Bride of Convenience, is such a wonderful story! I have been enjoying this series so much and this story is probably my favorite of all. I love marriage of convenience plots and this one was so good. I loved that there was a connection between these two from very early on in the story, even as neither one planned to marry each other. Yet, they found themselves wed and caring for a baby together. There was attraction between the two, yet plenty of re The latest release in The Bride Ships series, A Bride of Convenience, is such a wonderful story! I have been enjoying this series so much and this story is probably my favorite of all. I love marriage of convenience plots and this one was so good. I loved that there was a connection between these two from very early on in the story, even as neither one planned to marry each other. Yet, they found themselves wed and caring for a baby together. There was attraction between the two, yet plenty of reasons why both Zoe and Abe felt uncomfortable and unsure in their marriage. I felt as if I was truly back in time while reading this novel, experiencing the town that Abe was ministering too. I could almost feel the bitter cold! I loved this story from start to finish! A Bride of Convenience can be read as a stand alone novel if you have not read the other books in the series. I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own. You can read this review on my blog: https://brittreadsfiction.wordpress.c...

  8. 4 out of 5

    Gretchen

    This book is what marriage of convenience dreams are made of!! 😍 As a huge lover of that trope, it was so much fun to read Jody Hedlund’s fresh spin on it! I’ve never read one where one of the characters is still attached to a former (living) love interest. I really loved Abe from the beginning because he is such a selfless upstanding man; I was so excited to see him find love.❤️ Zoe was such a fun character! She is the ideal heroine I like to read about; while she is caring, child loving & the This book is what marriage of convenience dreams are made of!! 😍 As a huge lover of that trope, it was so much fun to read Jody Hedlund’s fresh spin on it! I’ve never read one where one of the characters is still attached to a former (living) love interest. I really loved Abe from the beginning because he is such a selfless upstanding man; I was so excited to see him find love.❤️ Zoe was such a fun character! She is the ideal heroine I like to read about; while she is caring, child loving & the ideal housewife, she really adds fun & spunk to Abe’s life. Their chemistry was AMAZING & I loved all of the sweet little romantic situations they’d find themselves in. So far with this series it is almost impossible to choose a favorite..it’s definitely a toss up between book 2 & this one but I am tempted to say this may take the prize as my favorite! All I can say is Jody Hedlund could add on 50 more books to this series & I wouldn’t tire of them🤣 I’m excited for the next book but am so greedy that I wish there were more.💕

  9. 5 out of 5

    Susan Snodgrass

    Jody Hedlund brings us the third book in her Bride Ships series and it's so very good. One thing I enjoy about her writing is that she does wonderful historical research and it often spurs me on to do some research myself! In this book, Pastor Abraham Merivale is on the island awaiting the time when he can send for his fiancé back in England to come and marry him. He misses her so much and watching the brides coming off the bride ships makes him miss her even more. In about a week, he unexpectedl Jody Hedlund brings us the third book in her Bride Ships series and it's so very good. One thing I enjoy about her writing is that she does wonderful historical research and it often spurs me on to do some research myself! In this book, Pastor Abraham Merivale is on the island awaiting the time when he can send for his fiancé back in England to come and marry him. He misses her so much and watching the brides coming off the bride ships makes him miss her even more. In about a week, he unexpectedly finds himself married to one of those brides, not really even sure how it happened. An infant is left in their care when the widowed father of the babe dies and now he has a wife and a baby! And a fiancé in England. Hedlund handles this situation so well, as she is wont to do in her books. Zoe doesn't know what is expected of her and Abe doesn't know what is expected of him. Zoe just wants to find her brother, who came to the island a few years earlier when he was angry with her. Then there is the danger of one man who seeks Zoe with the intent of destroying both her, her brother and Abe. I was captivated throughout the book as I watched everything unfold. The spiritual them is strong here and one that is relevant today for every believer. Sometimes out own plans are not what God plans. I loved every minute. Recommended. *My thanks to Bethany House Publishers for a copy of this book via Net Galley. The opinions in this review are entirely my own.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Maureen Timerman

    What a great read, and this is the third book in the series, and while there are a few recurring characters, this book could be read alone. There are a few references to the past reads, but you won’t be lost. This is Pastor Abe’s chance to find love, his hearts desire is still in England, when circumstances take a turn, and Zoe Hart appears. Zoe is a joy of a character, she shows love and compassion to most everyone, and she sure has a heart for children. We are again reminded of the conditions in What a great read, and this is the third book in the series, and while there are a few recurring characters, this book could be read alone. There are a few references to the past reads, but you won’t be lost. This is Pastor Abe’s chance to find love, his hearts desire is still in England, when circumstances take a turn, and Zoe Hart appears. Zoe is a joy of a character, she shows love and compassion to most everyone, and she sure has a heart for children. We are again reminded of the conditions in England that leads these young woman to travel to the unknown, no jobs and no food, but what will they face when they arrive in Western Canada. These are strong woman and there could be stories here for all of them. As I finished this read, I felt as if the author had given me a personal gift, I just hated for it to end! I received this book through the Publisher Bethany House, and was not required to give a positive review.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Aimee (Getting Your Read On)

    Happy release day to A Bride of Convenience by Jody Hedlund! I am really loving this Bride Ship series. It's crazy and so interesting to me that these bride ships were a real thing. This author does a great job of making her characters human with clear strengths and flaws that I can relate to. Zoe is such a gentle person, full of kindness and compassion. I loved how quickly and easily she shared her love with those who needed it most. It was so easy to love her character and her intentions. Abe s Happy release day to A Bride of Convenience by Jody Hedlund! I am really loving this Bride Ship series. It's crazy and so interesting to me that these bride ships were a real thing. This author does a great job of making her characters human with clear strengths and flaws that I can relate to. Zoe is such a gentle person, full of kindness and compassion. I loved how quickly and easily she shared her love with those who needed it most. It was so easy to love her character and her intentions. Abe struggled with his situation and his follow through a bit more than Zoe but his intentions were usually noble. He definitely became a better man and found sure footing in the wake of Zoe's love and compassion for others. I enjoyed the setting and I also enjoyed seeing characters from previous books pop up in this story. It gives the series a sense of community and I like that. If you haven't started this series yet, now is the time! It's so good. I've loved every book so far. Content: mild violence, mild peril, kissing - I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions expressed are my own.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Megan

    Oh my stars. This book is my new favorite book by Jody Hedlund. From the very beginning of the book the storyline captivated me. I find the Bride Ship concept fascinating! Jody does an amazing job of both the struggles and highlights of the ladies arriving in British Columbia. Zoe is probably one of the sweetest characters I've read about. She's not prone to drama and her actions come from a servants heart. Her dedication to fight for orphans is what bonded my heart to this book. Abe probably ha Oh my stars. This book is my new favorite book by Jody Hedlund. From the very beginning of the book the storyline captivated me. I find the Bride Ship concept fascinating! Jody does an amazing job of both the struggles and highlights of the ladies arriving in British Columbia. Zoe is probably one of the sweetest characters I've read about. She's not prone to drama and her actions come from a servants heart. Her dedication to fight for orphans is what bonded my heart to this book. Abe probably has the biggest growth in this book. He goes from timid, to a strong man of God, unafraid of the way he ministers! This book was amazing! I will be reading it again and again as well as recommending it to my friends!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kav

    I have a serious fascination for the marriage of convenience trope even though I know our pioneering sisters fought for equality and the right for a woman to not need a man to survive so I feel kinda guilty about this not-so-secret obsession. :-) But I still happily immersed myself in Zoe's story anyway. Especially since I listened to the audible version narrated by Esther Wane which enhanced my enjoyment all the more. So, gentle readers, clear off your fainting couches and grab your smelling sal I have a serious fascination for the marriage of convenience trope even though I know our pioneering sisters fought for equality and the right for a woman to not need a man to survive so I feel kinda guilty about this not-so-secret obsession. :-) But I still happily immersed myself in Zoe's story anyway. Especially since I listened to the audible version narrated by Esther Wane which enhanced my enjoyment all the more. So, gentle readers, clear off your fainting couches and grab your smelling salts and a fan or two before settling in for a toe-curling romantical journey. It's fraught with turmoil and even some danger, so you might want to add some comfort chocolate to your stockpile. Zoe and Abe have a lot to get through before they can enjoy their happily ever after. And it's all page-turning stuff. From their sizzling chemistry to the plight of an orphaned baby and the dastardly deeds of a nefarious villain -- Hedlund delivers a captivating tale full of heart and hope and second chances. This is the third book in her Bride Ships series and -- eeeeepppp -- there's one more to go, Almost a Bride, which comes out in August. These books can be read as standalones even though some of the characters carry over from book to book. I was thrilled to be given a glimpse of Pete and Arabella's wedded bliss in this one, for instance. And a character who is introduced in this book gets top billing in this next one which has me super excited!

  14. 4 out of 5

    linda hole

    This is hedlund's third book in the brideship series. And Even though it can be read As a stand alone, I would recommend you to read the whole series. You won't regret it. I loved this book of all my heart. The concept, the Main characters with their heart of gold. I loved the plot. And i loved the rural surroundings. A must read This is hedlund's third book in the brideship series. And Even though it can be read As a stand alone, I would recommend you to read the whole series. You won't regret it. I loved this book of all my heart. The concept, the Main characters with their heart of gold. I loved the plot. And i loved the rural surroundings. A must read

  15. 5 out of 5

    Lisa (Bookworm Lisa)

    ***4.5 stars*** A bride of convenience is just what Paster Abe needed, he just didn't know it. It is satisfying when you put down a book that leaves you with a great feeling. This book is inspirational, romantic, and enjoyable. I loved the characters of Abe and Zoe. They are two people who have a "heart of gold" and live their lives helping others do and be better. When the two of them enter a marriage of convenience they became even better. They complement and understand each other. I loved that t ***4.5 stars*** A bride of convenience is just what Paster Abe needed, he just didn't know it. It is satisfying when you put down a book that leaves you with a great feeling. This book is inspirational, romantic, and enjoyable. I loved the characters of Abe and Zoe. They are two people who have a "heart of gold" and live their lives helping others do and be better. When the two of them enter a marriage of convenience they became even better. They complement and understand each other. I loved that they took in a child who was not their own and of mixed ethnicity. They saw the worth of a soul rather than what everyone else was trying to tell them they need to do. I loved the baby. I could almost picture myself snuggling her right along with Zoe. This is a book that leaves you feeling better in the end. Source: I received a complimentary copy. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Christine

    As you can expect from the title, the 3rd installation of the Bride Ships series tells the story of a marriage of convenience. While this theme has been written about many times over in this genre, Jody Hedlund has a way of drawing readers in as she puts her own spin on a familiar storyline. There was also a healthy dose of humour thrown in. While I found myself flipping pages to see how it all worked out, I will confess this was not my favourite book in the series and I found the climax of the As you can expect from the title, the 3rd installation of the Bride Ships series tells the story of a marriage of convenience. While this theme has been written about many times over in this genre, Jody Hedlund has a way of drawing readers in as she puts her own spin on a familiar storyline. There was also a healthy dose of humour thrown in. While I found myself flipping pages to see how it all worked out, I will confess this was not my favourite book in the series and I found the climax of the story a little underwhelming. That being said, however, Jody Hedlund is one of my favourite authors and I have high expectations every time I get my hands on one of her novels. I do recommend this book (the whole series actually) to historical romance fans.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    "Are you marrying me?" And thus began a tale of two hearts, who might have been joined under the most unusual of circumstances, but joined they were and joined they were going to stay. Possibly. Maybe. Hopefully. When bride-ship bride Zoe Hart accepted responsibility for a wee babe, she never imagined that becoming the wife of the local pastor Abe Merivale would be necessary, much less reality; Zoe had thought to take her chances on someone else. The "someone else" didn't take kindly to having his "Are you marrying me?" And thus began a tale of two hearts, who might have been joined under the most unusual of circumstances, but joined they were and joined they were going to stay. Possibly. Maybe. Hopefully. When bride-ship bride Zoe Hart accepted responsibility for a wee babe, she never imagined that becoming the wife of the local pastor Abe Merivale would be necessary, much less reality; Zoe had thought to take her chances on someone else. The "someone else" didn't take kindly to having his almost wife snatched away from him, and so following their hasty nuptials, Zoe and Abe quickly retreat farther up into the mountain mining communities of British Columbia. . . . . and begin their polite, platonic life. Determined to follow the traditions of the Anglican Church, Abe knew he was jeopardizing his chances of career advancement by joining his life with a former cotton mill worker and a mixed race infant. What had he been thinking? Actually, under the circumstances Abe hadn't been thinking clearly at all. But he had taken his vows before God and was determined to become a good husband; to the most beautiful woman he had ever seen, and who was quickly becoming the most precious. Seemingly, Zoe and Abe have a lot to learn about discerning God's will for their lives, for "Beautiful things usually coexisted with pain and danger. The two walked hand in hand on the same path, and the contrast only made the beauty and joy all the greater." It's been a long time since I have enjoyed a marriage of convenience story this much.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Faye

    A marriage of convenience. Answer to a prayer. Can two hearts bound by duty, be bound by love? I was thrilled to pick up this book when I heard that it would feature one of my favorite characters in the previous book, Pastor Abe. I loved getting to know more of his backstory and motivations in this story, as I got to see more of what a genuinely kind and caring man he is, willing to meet people on level ground, rather than above them. Zoe is a woman who has suffered much but has such an open heart A marriage of convenience. Answer to a prayer. Can two hearts bound by duty, be bound by love? I was thrilled to pick up this book when I heard that it would feature one of my favorite characters in the previous book, Pastor Abe. I loved getting to know more of his backstory and motivations in this story, as I got to see more of what a genuinely kind and caring man he is, willing to meet people on level ground, rather than above them. Zoe is a woman who has suffered much but has such an open heart for others, especially children. I admired her commitment to the children in her care, as well as her modest sensibilities, and thoughtfulness towards her neighbors. This book pushes further inland, building upon the previous books, and going deeper into the wilds of British Columbia. I loved how this book visits familiar places as well as featuring favorite characters from the previous books like Mrs. Moresby, Pete, Arabella, and others, as well as introducing new ones, like Will, a clever young man who calls things as he sees them. Probably my favorite of the series so far! Zoe and Abe have amazing chemistry, I loved how they work well together caring for the people of the community. This book was well paced and difficult to put down, tensions mounted into a climactic ending that was wholly satisfying, yet left me longing for the next book in the series! Romantic, and exciting, I would definitely recommend this book for fans of Jody Hedlund, mail-order bride romance, and fans of historical Christian romance. I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Alicia

    This Jody Hedlund novel was, as per usual, a great read! I love marriage of convenience stories so I was excited to read this one. It boggles me how these women travelled halfway across the world to marry strangers (their bravery in the midst of their circumstances is astounding!), and the author made a page-turning story out of a true bit of history. I found it sometimes overly dramatic but that didn’t hamper my enjoyment of the story too much. And though it wasn’t my favourite Hedlund novel, I This Jody Hedlund novel was, as per usual, a great read! I love marriage of convenience stories so I was excited to read this one. It boggles me how these women travelled halfway across the world to marry strangers (their bravery in the midst of their circumstances is astounding!), and the author made a page-turning story out of a true bit of history. I found it sometimes overly dramatic but that didn’t hamper my enjoyment of the story too much. And though it wasn’t my favourite Hedlund novel, I still really liked it and it definitely did not disappoint in the romance department :).

  20. 5 out of 5

    Becky

    A Bride of Convenience has taken over the top spot as my favorite of Hedlund's Bride Ships novels! I mean ... a marriage of convenience coupled with Hedlund's trademark romantic chemistry? How could I not love it? I absolutely loved Zoe's spunk and her determination to care for the children God placed in her path. And Abe's concern for the miners, even at the potential cost to his relationship with his superior the bishop, was inspiring. Abe's dilemma—serving God or man, which is even more compli A Bride of Convenience has taken over the top spot as my favorite of Hedlund's Bride Ships novels! I mean ... a marriage of convenience coupled with Hedlund's trademark romantic chemistry? How could I not love it? I absolutely loved Zoe's spunk and her determination to care for the children God placed in her path. And Abe's concern for the miners, even at the potential cost to his relationship with his superior the bishop, was inspiring. Abe's dilemma—serving God or man, which is even more complicated by the fact that the person most in opposition to what Abe felt called to do was the bishop—is something we all can identify with, and I thought his struggle felt authentic. And then there's the romance! I love Jody Hedlund's romances because of the intense chemistry between characters and that's certainly true of Zoe and Abe. Because of the way they got married (which led me to chuckle a few times), they had plenty of things to work through ... but chemistry was never their problem! I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the humor in this novel. I can't recall laughing so much while reading a Jody Hedlund novel before! Much of the humor came because of Zoe and Abe's sudden marriage, and it added a welcome levity to the story. (I'm still chuckling as I think of the scene in the mercantile.) Basically, from start to finish, I was completely immersed in this novel. I only wish it didn't have to end! Disclosure of material connection: I received this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review, and the opinions expressed are my own.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Rachael

    I have enjoyed this series. It just baffles me that women would be in such a situation that they would sail to a whole new world, Start a new life, and marry a man they barely know. Jody Hedlund has done a good job in telling stories that make the scenario believable. I have wanted to hear the preacher’s story since the last book, and i really enjoyed his story. This one has a bit more romance than the rest, but that was bound to happen in a marriage of convenience books. I loved the kids in this I have enjoyed this series. It just baffles me that women would be in such a situation that they would sail to a whole new world, Start a new life, and marry a man they barely know. Jody Hedlund has done a good job in telling stories that make the scenario believable. I have wanted to hear the preacher’s story since the last book, and i really enjoyed his story. This one has a bit more romance than the rest, but that was bound to happen in a marriage of convenience books. I loved the kids in this book. That’s pretty much a given for me when it comes to books. I really liked Zoe and her large heart. Her background was fascinating, and it was so interesting that his one room cabin was so much nicer than she was use to back home. I loved her brother as well,and I have to say I hope he will get his own story. The conflict in Abe’s life is interesting and gives another dynamic to the story. That parts of him were based on a historical character was fascinating as well. The characters were loveable, the storyline well done, and I just love the kids in the story! The faith theme is really good in this book as well. This was a piece of history about which I’d never heard. I have enjoyed it being brought to life. I received this book from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Beth Erin

    Full review on FaithfullyBookish.com Zoe is courageous, incessantly industrious, refreshingly honest, compassionate, and full of spunk. She is the kind of heroine who is instantly endearing and leaves a lasting impression on my reader heart. Plus, genuine albeit occasionally clueless heroes like Pastor Abe are one of my many bookish addictions. I am unashamed to admit to a little happy dancing the moment stalwart yet modest Abe stepped into the story spotlight. Hedlund brilliantly rounds out a fu Full review on FaithfullyBookish.com Zoe is courageous, incessantly industrious, refreshingly honest, compassionate, and full of spunk. She is the kind of heroine who is instantly endearing and leaves a lasting impression on my reader heart. Plus, genuine albeit occasionally clueless heroes like Pastor Abe are one of my many bookish addictions. I am unashamed to admit to a little happy dancing the moment stalwart yet modest Abe stepped into the story spotlight. Hedlund brilliantly rounds out a full cast of intriguing secondary characters to boot! A Bride of Convenience touched my heart with the especially poignant theme of God's provision and faithfulness as we seek His will and/or calling on our lives rather than relying on our own strength and plans. Attraction, companionship, and ministry are woven throughout this masterfully presented story. I highly recommend this third installment of The Bride Ships series and look forward to adding a print copy to my favorites shelf for future repeated enjoyment! I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and was under no obligation to post a review. The opinions expressed are my own.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Trisha

    I have enjoyed reading the Bride Ship series. Each story stands alone yet eloquently captures the very heart of not only the time period but also the characters. I find myself saying, “this is my favorite one”, And then I read the next story, and its even better! The flawless descriptions of the setting bring me right into the story with the characters. I could almost smell the abundant evergreens and feel the mud sucking at my feet as we traveled through the town burdened down with our purchase I have enjoyed reading the Bride Ship series. Each story stands alone yet eloquently captures the very heart of not only the time period but also the characters. I find myself saying, “this is my favorite one”, And then I read the next story, and its even better! The flawless descriptions of the setting bring me right into the story with the characters. I could almost smell the abundant evergreens and feel the mud sucking at my feet as we traveled through the town burdened down with our purchases from the small, cluttered general store. Even the background characters felt real and important. I loved Zoe’s heart for others, especially children. Even though she has known her share of heartache, and tries to hold her heart away from others, she just can’t help but be lead by her heart. I also, wanted to scoop up baby Violet and cuddle her and sing her songs, and give her bubble kisses on her sweet cheeks. It is easy to see how Zoe instantly fell in love with this sweet baby! Abe may have bumbled his way into his marriage with Zoe, but once he made the commitment he didn’t stray from it. I just wish he had learned a little sooner how to express his affection and commitment. Of course it was his personality type and his history that held him back. But once he figures it out, nothing holds him back! I absolutely loved this marriage of convince story and I know these dynamic characters will stay with me for quite a while. This story has easily earned a place on my favorite keeper shelf and I smile ever time I glimpse the book there, knowing what delights await within its pages! I highly recommend this wonderful story! (I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author/publisher. I am not required to write a positive review. My thoughts and opinions are my own.)

  24. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    I’ve always been a sucker for these marriage of convenience types, no matter the era the book is set in. It’s a given they’ll find a way to love in the end, but the journey is always the best part. Starting out with oh so noble intentions Pastor Abe is really like most the hero’s who fall into this plot line. However, he’s got his struggles and he’s human like the rest of us and all of that shines through. Why anyone wants to read about perfect people with everything aligning just in all the rig I’ve always been a sucker for these marriage of convenience types, no matter the era the book is set in. It’s a given they’ll find a way to love in the end, but the journey is always the best part. Starting out with oh so noble intentions Pastor Abe is really like most the hero’s who fall into this plot line. However, he’s got his struggles and he’s human like the rest of us and all of that shines through. Why anyone wants to read about perfect people with everything aligning just in all the right moments, I don’t really know - but this is why I’m such a big fan of Hedlund. Yet again she has continued to educate us all in little known historical events with a great fictional story to hook the reader. I absolutely loved Zoe, and her big charitable heart, that really has always been part of her very nature. Always looking out for her family, niece, best friend on the ship and all the children that came her way. No question she endeared herself to everyone who came into contact with her. The pious Bishop & Dex make the best bad guys, and glad they both got put in their place by the end. A joyous and surprising conclusion, not what I expected. Really hoping there will be another book for Zeke, because wow is there an opening for a story there! Thanks to Bethany House & Netgalley for the eARC. This is my honest review.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Alyssa Amey Madjeski

    “She’d always believed callings were for ministers and missionaries. But what if God had something special for everyone to do?” When Zoe Hart leaves her lousy life in England on a bride ship bound for British Columbia, she doesn’t know what to expect. She truly only hopes to find a husband who will help her venture into the mountains to find her twin brother. Soon after landing, Zoe is faced with the loss of a friend- but her loss brings her an introduction to missionary pastor Abe and a half-nat “She’d always believed callings were for ministers and missionaries. But what if God had something special for everyone to do?” When Zoe Hart leaves her lousy life in England on a bride ship bound for British Columbia, she doesn’t know what to expect. She truly only hopes to find a husband who will help her venture into the mountains to find her twin brother. Soon after landing, Zoe is faced with the loss of a friend- but her loss brings her an introduction to missionary pastor Abe and a half-native baby girl in desperate need of a caretaker. When circumstances drive Abe and Zoe together, they agree to the convenience of marrying each other. With its tumultuous ups and downs, can their marriage survive all the obstacles that seem to be pulling them away from their own plans toward God’s new calling for their lives? I absolutely loved this book, as I’ve loved each book so far in this series. Though linked slightly, they can certainly be read stand-alone. I loved Zoe’s spunk and Abe’s heart, and how God brought two people together despite their plans to give them exactly what they needed and something better than they could have dreamed. A case of God working to do exceedingly and abundantly more than they could ask or imagine. The setting is stunning. Jody shows both us the mountain splendor and the magic of the northern lights along with the historically-accurate, muddy, often brutal harshness of the frontier. I laughed, smiled, and was frustrated with our characters and then duly rewarded within the pages of this novel. I completely recommend it. Jody’s books never disappoint with a delightful blend of well-researched history, high-stakes scenarios, and sweet romance. I want to thank Jody Hedlund and Bethany House for allowing me to be a part of promoting this book.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jackie

    A Bride of Convenience is the third book in a series called The Bride Ships. It stands alone well, but I enjoyed it enough to seek out the previous two books. Overall it is lighthearted, but it deals with some difficult subjects such as the treatment of Native Americans and the plight of mill workers in the 1860s. Zoe traveled to British Columbia on a bride ship to look for her brother. It was no place for a woman alone, so she sought a husband to help her get to the gold mines where her brother A Bride of Convenience is the third book in a series called The Bride Ships. It stands alone well, but I enjoyed it enough to seek out the previous two books. Overall it is lighthearted, but it deals with some difficult subjects such as the treatment of Native Americans and the plight of mill workers in the 1860s. Zoe traveled to British Columbia on a bride ship to look for her brother. It was no place for a woman alone, so she sought a husband to help her get to the gold mines where her brother might be. Before she found her husband, she found an orphaned baby that immediately stole her heart. The addition of a half-breed child made finding a husband even more difficult. **I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions are mine alone. I was not compensated for this review.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Dana Michael

    I have enjoyed this series so much. The book is the third in the series and I'm longing for more. I cant wait for the fourth book. This story features Pastor Abe and a cotton mill worker who boarded a bride ship from England to look for her brother. Zoe is a delight and is so caring and loving. History and romance lovers will enjoy this very much. I have enjoyed this series so much. The book is the third in the series and I'm longing for more. I cant wait for the fourth book. This story features Pastor Abe and a cotton mill worker who boarded a bride ship from England to look for her brother. Zoe is a delight and is so caring and loving. History and romance lovers will enjoy this very much.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Ashlee

    When I finished this story, I closed the book with a contented sigh. For me, that usually ends with an automatic 5 star rating. I'm pretty easy going that way. What a story! Fake relationships are among my favorite romance tropes, but I usually read them in a more contemporary setting. In this historical setting, it was (as the title implies) simply for "convenience." Zoe and Abe got married because it benefited them in the moment. But of course things are never so easy. This couple sees their fa When I finished this story, I closed the book with a contented sigh. For me, that usually ends with an automatic 5 star rating. I'm pretty easy going that way. What a story! Fake relationships are among my favorite romance tropes, but I usually read them in a more contemporary setting. In this historical setting, it was (as the title implies) simply for "convenience." Zoe and Abe got married because it benefited them in the moment. But of course things are never so easy. This couple sees their fair of struggles and it appears they aren't going to make it. These types of books are predictable in the ending, but that is why I love them. It's really more about the journey, but I do sigh over a good epilogue! This epilogue left me feeling completely satisfied. I'll leave it at that and let you find out for yourself. The concept of a series following women of a bride ship was a new one for me. I always like finding books where I also learn more while reading. I don't recall having read any books about bride ships before so this was interesting to me. This was book #3 in the series and (because I always have to read series in order) I read the first two books first. Each can be read as a standalone but they're so much better read as a series. As the characters from previous books were referenced in later books, I felt more drawn in and connected to the world being created by Jody Hedlund. I received a complimentary copy of this book and I have leaving an honest and voluntary review.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Erin Laramore

    4.5 stars for this third installment of the Bride Ships series by Jody Hedlund. Of the 3 released thus far, this one was definitely my favorite. For the best amount of history, I'd recommend reading these in order, though they could all stand alone. There's a bit of history from The Runaway Bride (book 2) in this one, and so if you do read them out of order, I'd recommend still reading that one before this one. Fans of the series will be glad to see Pastor Abe get his own story. I loved Zoe. She 4.5 stars for this third installment of the Bride Ships series by Jody Hedlund. Of the 3 released thus far, this one was definitely my favorite. For the best amount of history, I'd recommend reading these in order, though they could all stand alone. There's a bit of history from The Runaway Bride (book 2) in this one, and so if you do read them out of order, I'd recommend still reading that one before this one. Fans of the series will be glad to see Pastor Abe get his own story. I loved Zoe. She reminded me a lot of myself. Spunky and sassy, but still compassionate with a heart for orphans, she was such a great leading lady. Her back-story was a good one and I loved how she never lost faith no matter what had happened to her. Marriage of convenience stories are my favorite kind of romance novel as the love grows out of the commitment in that trope. This one was no different. I enjoyed the story line, the romance between the 2 and learning more about Pastor Abe's story as well. I appreciated how the 2 came to love each other. While not as steamy as the other 2, the kissing scenes in this one were still a bit more intense than I like..... but that's just a personal preference. All in all, this was a great inspirational historical romance that I'd highly recommend! Special thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for an advanced e-copy of this book. I was under no obligation to write a review and the thoughts contained herein are my own.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    This is hands down my favorite of the Bride Ships series. I loved Abe, Zoe, Violet, Will and the other characters featured in the story. This book has a wealth of fantastic characters. The story line is excellent and kept me thoroughly entertained. The ending was exciting and it was a perfect fit for the story. This read is definitely going on my fave 2020 reads. I enjoyed it so much that I bought the kindle and audible versions halfway through because I was enjoying it so much. Can't wait for t This is hands down my favorite of the Bride Ships series. I loved Abe, Zoe, Violet, Will and the other characters featured in the story. This book has a wealth of fantastic characters. The story line is excellent and kept me thoroughly entertained. The ending was exciting and it was a perfect fit for the story. This read is definitely going on my fave 2020 reads. I enjoyed it so much that I bought the kindle and audible versions halfway through because I was enjoying it so much. Can't wait for the series finale-luckily it releases in a month!! I received this book from the publisher and was not required to post a positive review. All thoughts are my own.

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